Between theory and practice – foreign language teacher students’ cognition of oral proficiency and grammar teaching in Sweden

Tore Nilsson, Pirjo Harjanne, Pernilla Rosell Steuer

Agency, Teacher student cognition, Foreign language teaching, Teacher education


The present study explores patterns of cognition among 14 foreign language (FL) teacher students in Sweden regarding teaching oral proficiency and grammar in French German, Italian and Spanish. It is based on reflective cumulative log texts written by the students during a theoretical course in FL pedagogy. The log texts were investigated using qualitative content analysis to uncover central themes and patterns of agency. The findings indicate, among other things, that the FL teacher students hold strong experience-based cognitions regarding teaching both oral proficiency and grammar, and that, regardless if their FL learning experiences at school were based on form-focused teaching or communicative teaching, they struggle to negotiate the role of grammar in a communicative language teaching framework.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies